US govt disputes reports of fatalities during #EndSARS protests at Lekki | Ripples Nigeria
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US govt disputes reports of fatalities during #EndSARS protests at Lekki

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The United States Government on Tuesday, March 30, revealed that claims of the massacre of #EndSARS protesters can not be verified.

This came against the stances of various local and international bodies on the shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020

In a report by the US Department of State, ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,’ released on March 30, 2021, the United States said accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at the end of the year.

The report reads, “On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“Accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end. Amnesty International reported 10 persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organisation was able to verify the claim.

READ ALSO: Police arrests man who allegedly stole motorcycle during #ENDSARS protest in Lagos

“The government reported two deaths connected to the event. One body from the toll gate showed signs of blunt force trauma. A second body from another location in Lagos State had bullet wounds. The government acknowledged that soldiers armed with live ammunition were present at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“At year’s end the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution continued to hear testimony and investigate the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate.”

Amnesty International and the United States-based Cable News Network (CNN) are leading voices in claims by some of the protesters that there were fatalities and killings during the shootings by the military at the tollgate on the fateful day.

The then-Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had said: “We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces. Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law.”

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